2017 NCRP Impact Award Winners

Meet the foundations we honored at the 2017 NCRP Impact Awards in New Orleans





Sarah Shanley Hope, Executive Director of Solutions Project

Solutions Project believes that clean energy is a civil rights issue. So from the earliest rumblings of a resistance forming in North Dakota, it stood at the ready to support indigenous leadership working tirelessly to block the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In the spring of 2016, Solutions Project first leveraged its Fighter Fund to support a gathering of tribal leaders brought together by the Indigenous Environmental Network to plot to stop the dirty energy infrastructure and support a just transition to a clean, regenerative economy.

Shortly after that summit, the camp started to grow from its spark as a youth-led effort to an important moment in the fight for climate justice for us all. Solutions Project jumped into high gear, mapping the landscape of players and moving some of the very first institutional funding through a new voicemail application process with a quick turnaround to those leading and training water protectors holding the line with direct action.


Mark Ruffalo
Photo by Richard Phibbs

“Now more than ever, we must stand with the fighters who put their bodies on the line to protect our children, our communities, and our future. The Water Protectors at Standing Rock are a spectacular example of bold leadership that I couldn’t be more proud to play a role in supporting. I am humbled to join Solutions Project in receiving the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ for the Fighter Fund and hope it encourages others to play their part in the fight.”

-Mark Ruffalo, Actor, Activist and Co-founder of Solutions Project

As the effort grew, so did the need for and interest from other funders to play a role in supporting this fight. To ensure that these resources landed in integrity with movement organizers, Solutions Project helped other funders navigate the rapidly shifting ecosystem of groups at Standing Rock.


Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Jackson link up with water protectors at Standing Rock. Photo courtesy of Solutions Project

In partnership with funder allies, Solutions Project convened nearly 70 foundations for a briefing by organizers and tribal leaders in late October. At the same time, Mark Ruffalo, Solutions Project co-founder and Fighter Fund visionary, visited Standing Rock with Reverend Jesse Jackson and others to bring media spotlight to the effort and deliver solar power to the camp.

These combined efforts not only helped bolster the international coverage of Standing Rock, but did so in a way that centered the voices of indigenous leadership. By acting quickly to move money and providing media attention, Solutions Project helped push the Standing Rock effort to its win with the Obama Administration.

Top photo: Co-founder of Native Renewables Wahleah Johns stands above Oceti Sakowin Camp on a visit to Standing Rock to deliver solar trailers. Photo courtesy of Solutions Project.

2017 NCRP Impact Awardees

2017 NCRP Impact Awardees

Meet all the grantmakers we are honoring in  New Orleans.

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Past Winners

Past Winners

Meet the foundations that took home NCRP Impact Awards.

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Effective philanthropy helps change the world

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